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‘Let’s change the system’


 

Recently, in the process of researching for a magazine piece on Chuck Strahl (on newsstands now!), I stumbled across the University of Calgary’s online database of political papers and documents—a treasure trove of, among other things, old Reform party campaign pamphlets.

My favourite find so far might be this, “So You Don’t Trust Politicians. Neither Do We.” In fact, I’ve since printed it off and hung it on my office wall, right beside Stephane Dion’s first, last and only Christmas card as Liberal leader.

Elsewhere, on page 3 of this flyer, you’ll find a short write-up on an eager young Reformer named Patrick Muttart, who seems quite taken with the promise of free votes, voter recalls and referendums. Pity young Patrick never rose into a position of sufficient power to implement such changes.

At last report, obviously disillusioned with the political process in Canada, he was living in exile in Washington, D.C.


 

‘Let’s change the system’

  1. All those things are niche issues really. Some people may say they agree with them, but few get riled up about it. I know this isn't the purpose of this being posted – but the direct democracy stuff is exactly what should be the centrepiece of everything the Green Party proposes. They need to find a mainstream nice, not fight everyone else for a small piece of the enviro. niche.

  2. How much longer will "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" have to fail before they stop trying it?

  3. Direct democracy is indeed the last step prior to anarchy and tyranny.

    However, a system in which the people are forced by government to pay for public media while public media engages in propaganda masquerading as objective reporting to support the sitting government is no better. It's a political kickback scheme. It is already a form of tyranny.

    This is why the system needed change. A shift toward direct democracy would have actually been a step in the right direction.

  4. Direct democracy is indeed the last step prior to anarchy and tyranny.

    However, a system in which the people are forced by government to pay for public media, while public media engages in propaganda masquerading as objective reporting to support the sitting government is no better. It's a political kickback scheme. It is already a form of tyranny.

    This is why the system needed change. A shift toward direct democracy would have actually been a step in the right direction.

  5. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
    certainly worked for Peter Finch and the film… 4 Academy Awards including best actor
    The early Reform rhetoric certainly worked for Stephen Harper … he is Prime Minister. Moreover he is currently working to paint newcomer Ignatieff as a "typical political opportunist" which is a fairly ballsy accusation for someone who has lived largely off the public purse for his entire adult life.
    Of course, it is not crucial that Finch or Harper actually believe their lines or expect radical change to ensue. They just have to suspend the disbelief of the audience long enough for the performance to be a success.

  6. These past positions positions only apply when we are NOT in power. (Look closely, that should be clearly stated in tiny print at the back of each of the papers.)

  7. Stewart is right – I think the Canadian public is heading towards a Howard Beale moment (the loop from the movie and the text has gone viral now I think) – whether it will finally backfire on Stephen Harper remains to be seen.__The difference between the character of Howard Beale – the newscaster – and Harper is – that the public believed everything that Beale fed them – and I don't think that has ever been the case with Harper.

    • I think that people did beleive Stephen Harper, and were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he for years talked nobly about democratic reform, the duty of government to consult parliament and to govern with its consent, and we he talked against overt centralization of power in one person, and the importance of transparency and openness in government.
      Of course, he has gone on to demonstrate that all those lofty goals that he actuall;y seemed to beleive in were designed to do nothing but allow him to take power himself and concentrate in his own hands, and transparency and accountability meant nothing more to him than sounds that if repeated often enough, would entice the naive and gullible to vote for him.

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